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May 19, 2020 | Devin Cook

What to Read: Mental Health Awareness Month

In 1949, Mental Health America (previously the National Association of Mental Health) established Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States during the month of May to educate the public on mental illness, reduce societal stigma, and to promote advocacy for legislation to aid those with mental illness and their families. Now, more than ever, it is important to take mental health seriously. 

Living in such uncertain times can cause a great deal of stress, and for many it can feel overwhelming. The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t just a physical health crisis, but a mental one too.

We encourage everyone to reach out to others and stay connected while we keep each other safe by social distancing. Make self-care an important part of your daily routine, and remember to get plenty of sleep. Counseling through teletherapy is also a mental health resource–often covered by Medicaid and health insurance. 

Reading is a great way to exercise your mind, and help you escape from today’s troubles. Some books can teach you how to tackle anxiety-inducing thoughts and learn new ways to cope. Here are some ebooks and audiobooks (that you can access with your library card through Hoopla) written for those who may be struggling with their emotional wellbeing.

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne 

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy by Kelly Jensen

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Feeling Good by David D. Burns, M.D.

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, Ph. D.
Both Hoopla and Kentucky Libraries Unbound have extensive Self-Help genres for you to explore. Lynda.com also has many videos on mindfulness and meditation, including guided meditation sessions, that can help you calm your mind. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but your mental health should be a priority year-round! We hope some of these reads ease your tensions and help you feel closer to emotional wellness.